Research in games has gone far afield from the “corruption of young minds” and “dangerously addictive” talking points for the recent past. Cognitive load, executive functions, and several types of memory must be engaged. Motor skills! Attentional systems! These are being studied.
As a dedicated gamer, I am studying these things myself. (Well, not in a scientific way, haha) Only last night, 8 p.m. came around and after talking on Skype with my relative visiting in Brazil, I was off to check out the new content on World of Warcraft. This was a little earlier than usual; I was very excited to go with my “toon” Killertomato to see, dispatch the new Dragon and maybe win some new gear in a random raid of 35 folks which contained not only folks from my Guild but from all over the RL world as well. (RL=real life).
The ones from my Guild were hooked together on “Vent”, which enabled us to voice talk about the game and help each other out, critical for those of us there for the first time. We were also communicating in “chat”, a continuous typed scrolling dialogue at the left corner of the screen for the whole group.
Also, a running account of the damage and healing that each of us was doing was running at the lower right, which had to be attended to, at least by me. I tend to not pull my weight in a group sometime, just being in the beautiful environment, and that reminds me that i am on task.
One’s health and life force and position (am I close enough to the healers, within shooting and dotting range, and out of reach of the ice shards?) must be monitored at all times or risk being taken out of the game by death, costing maybe a 100 gold to repair.
I totally agree with this quote from Scientific American: “In short, the game is a relentless exercise in multitasking and constant decision making”. The big question for further study: can there be transfer of these skills to RL?
This could be important. Besides me, according to the Entertainment Software Association, 72 percent of American households play computer or video games. Many adults including a number of women play these games, but youngsters,teenagers from South Korea, ruled the roost at a recent competition in Providence, Rhode Island.
This winning by teenagers has a number of factors probably, but a chief winning strategy may be the lack of the dreaded RL distraction called “spouse aggro”. (Aggo=Aggravation) In spouse aggro, the RL spouse trumps all play and actually takes the player out of the game with incessant demands for coming to dinner, paying attention to said spouse, demanding busy work to keep player from the game, and the like.
Here the link to the long and meaty article:
You will notice almost perfect form and function in the Korean winner short video. His elbows are hanging down, he is using appropriate tonus, and if we could get him to sit up a bit he would be all golden. Probably that folding chair is not the best.